Wellington average house values rose 21 per cent in the last year, outstripping Auckland's 15 per cent, Quotable Value's latest data released at midday showed.
But Queenstown had the biggest national house value increase, up 30.7 per cent since last September and now standing at an average $959,282.
Wellington house values are only about half those of Auckland's. The QV House Price Index showed Auckland area average values at $1,031,253 compared to Wellington's $553,023. Nationally, house values rose 14.3 per cent in the last year to reach an average $619,660.
David Nagel, QV homevalue general manager, said Wellington values were being driven by a listing drought and rental properties were particularly scarce.
"We are continuing to see strong value growth across all parts of the Wellington region driven by high demand and a shortage of supply of homes listed for sale on the market.
"The strongest demand is at the low end of the market and it appears first home buyers are now missing out to investors as they compete for entry level properties.
The latest CoreLogic buyer classification data confirms a sharp drop in sales to movers and first home buyers and an increase in sales to investors in the Wellington market," Nagel said.
"Investor housing stock has become really scarce and we are seeing big numbers vying for limited stock at auctions. We are also seeing high clearance rates at auctions and buyers are acting on a fear of missing out and stretching their budgets in order to secure properties," he said.
"Home values in Wellington City suburbs rose 21.2 per cent year on year and 5.9 per cent over the past three months. The average value there is now $661,927.
"Lower Hutt rose 21.8 per cent year on year and 9.6 per cent over the past three months while Upper Hutt values were up 19.2 per cent year on year and 9.6 per cent over the past three months.
"Porirua also rose 19 per cent year on year and 7 per cent over the past three months and the Kapiti Coast was up 16.5 per cent year on year and 6.3 per cent over the past three months," QV said.
Andrea Rush, QV national spokesperson, said that elsewhere, lending restrictions were taking a toll.
"Despite a clear slowing in activity and demand in the Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga markets since the introduction of the new LVR restrictions for investors, we are seeing little evidence of a slow-down in value growth in these main centres," she said.
"The Dunedin market remains buoyant and values there continue to rise steadily with Auckland investors having an increasing presence, while the Christchurch market remains relatively stable in terms of value growth by comparison," Rush said.
"Queenstown Lakes District has seen the highest annual rate of value growth of anywhere in the country, rising 30.7% since September last year, she said.
WATCH: Making sense of housing data
Hamilton home values rose 27.1 per cent year on year and 7.5 per cent over the past three months. The average value in the city is now $529,236, QV data showed.
Tauranga City values were up 28.1 per cent in the year since last September. Values have also risen 7.4 per cent in the past three months.
"The average value in the city is now $644,297. Western Bay of Plenty home values have risen 29.3 per cent year on year and a huge 9.2 per cent over the past three months. The average value in the district is now $574,993," QV said.
Values are also rising fast in the Western Bay of Plenty, Rotorua, Kawerau, the Hauraki District, Whangarei, Napier, Hastings and Nelson areas, QV said.